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Mac Callanan Knows Cannabis

"Seeing people grow up and grow in life is very rewarding."

Photo by Wyatt Early

Mac Callanan is extremely thankful to be a part of the Cannabis industry, and this budtender of the month story comes at the recommendation of the patients he serves. A shining star at Health for Life, Mac tries to brighten the day of his patients while giving them the expertise and education they’re looking for. Stop in and have a chat with Mac if you’re interested in meeting someone who truly knows – and cares deeply – about this plant.

How has your experience in the service industry carried over to the Cannabis industry?
From my time at Starbucks, everything revolves around providing a good environment for everybody that walks in the door. To bring my ‘have a great day’ attitude to every single person helps to build small connections with them – and eventually they’re fist-bumping me as they come in and out.

How much have you seen the depth of products change in Maryland over the years?
I have been in the industry for 19 months, starting here at Health for Life and staying the entire time. The  change in products is crazy, man – we’re seeing branding changes that are not only appealing to the eye, but also a lot more specific products tailored for illnesses, like the new X-bites from Select. On the other hand, there are the companies and products that have stuck around and stood strong over the years.

How did you get into audio engineering?
It all started out in high school when I started a band with my buddy Zach called “The Screams” with a couple friends, and as someone who wasn’t great instrument-wise, I loved the idea of making music sound good in the studio. I went to Sheffield for audio engineering, because it was so cool being able to take something that sounds amazing in a room, sounds crappy on the first recording, and going through the process of making it sound amazing on your speakers.

Where do you get your passion for medical Cannabis?
I remember my first time talking about Cannabis in 2008, when my mom and I were reflecting on my dad’s fight with cancer. Out in California, Cannabis was being used to stimulate appetite, and we later learned it can help to fight cancer. While we can’t spend too much time reflecting on the past, I am so happy that patients have access to this medicine now. 

What made you want to get into the Cannabis industry?
It was my own choice to get into the industry. I had been doing customer service jobs for a while, and had a passion for Cannabis since my first use in middle school. Cannabis has made a huge impact on my life since a surgery gone wrong left me with IBS. I use specific strains like Ray Charles and Birthday Cake to calm down my symptoms. I knew the difference between terpenes like caryophyllene and myrcene before we even had medical Cannabis in Maryland. My buddies always told me if any of our friends would be selling Cannabis legally, it would be me.

What is the most rewarding part of being a budtender?
It’s the small things for me. A patient comes in and says the strain or product I recommended enabled them to get up and do laundry for the first time in who knows how long. That might not seem significant, but it can mean so much more to someone than you can imagine to be able to do tasks like these. Also, seeing people grow up and grow in life is very rewarding. Having kids, getting married – you name it. I am with patients for the long run, and get to have a glimpse into their life in a completely different way than they see into mine.

Photos by @errlywyatt

About Wyatt Early

Wyatt is a Maryland native, stoner by nature, obsessor of hash rosin. After getting his start in the printing industry with a family company, he took on the role as state director for Maryland Leaf, and frequently contributes to the magazine with photos and articles.

This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue of Maryland Leaf.

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